Becky's Bottom Line
By Becky Brownstein
"Her emotions are so fragile. But I can’t stop my relationship
with my husband for a daughter who misunderstands the whole point of a date."
My kids are getting older. With them getting older, life has given me much more space to breathe. But with more breathing space comes many more hardships. For one, date night. You might be thinking, “What the heck is this woman writing about? Date nights making things harder? Seriously?!”
Calm down. Let me explain.
When my kids were younger, I had a fear of leaving them with babysitters. Even now, I hate leaving them all awake. I’m a realist. I know no one is going to take care of my children the way I do and no one is going to do bed time routine the way my husband or I do. Besides, I enjoy putting them to bed. Okay ‘enjoy’ is pushing it a little. But I prefer to be the one to put them to bed. My or my husband’s face wishing them a good night should be the last thing they see when they close their eyes at night. Control freak, I know. But I’ve also had babies. What if I was just starting to have a good time and loosening up when *BAM* the babysitter calls? I would have to go home and then I would feel even more miserable. So, we just never went out. But now that the kids are older, we are able to break free and unwind outside the home. But we have encountered some technical difficulties with the older bunch.
My husband and I went bowling. We also had beers. It was so wonderful. When we got home I found a note on top of a note on my pillow. The top note said, “Please sign my petition, even though I know you won’t want too.” Hmmmm...I then read the next note. It was in fact a petition written in black crayon (I assume for dramatic effect). It said, “I herby declare to band all "dates"" (yes she wrote it just like that and even quoted dates) in Kingston signed ‘her whole name’ and ‘her sisters whole name’. It doesn’t take Jack Bauer to figure out that someone does not like date night in our household and has rallied sister troops to not like it also. I had to take action. This was the hard part.
When the girls were little they did not question where we were going. They just stayed in bed obediently. Now we have to defend our actions to these little people. We have to stand up for our rights for freedom and enjoyment. Or we could just not go out. I would never tell her that we had beers for fear of backlash. She hates when we drink. (Not like we’re drunks you skeptics. We enjoy a glass here or there. Or a double.Whatever.) Kinda makes me think shes a secret agent working for my MOTHER!
Working things out with older children is so hard. These are real people with real feelings. Anything I say to her now...she will remember later. I remember being her age and being in third grade. Her emotions are so fragile. But I can’t stop my relationship with my husband for a daughter who misunderstands the whole point of a date. So I have to explain. I have to have the mommy to daughter talks so that her fragile emotions can be soothed. She needs to understand what goes on.
Bottom line is: Communication is not only good for a marriage. It’s the basis of an entire family. My child was reaching out to me, y’know, in crayon. But she was communicating, and it’s my job to communicate back. Now I understand when adults would say “being a parent is hard work.” They weren’t just talking about the infancy stage. More power to the mothers with older daughters. We might need to make a support group. I’ll be the first to join.